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February 27, 2006

PERFECT 10 Ruling May Undercut Google In Book Scan Fight

The recent Perfect 10 federal court decision in California might undermine a pillar of defense for Google in its dispute with publishers and authors who are challenging the company's right to scan books that are still under copyright. Representatives of publishers and authors who have filed lawsuits against Google over its Book Search program said they believed that the decision raised questions about a case that Google had cited in its defense of the Book Search program. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 2/27/2006

Posted by P. Kaufman at 8:47 AM

February 24, 2006

National Archives and Google Launch Pilot Project to Digitize and Offer Historic Films Online

NARA press release: "Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Google Co-Founder and President of Technology Sergey Brin today announced the launch of a pilot program to make holdings of the National Archives available for free online. This non-exclusive agreement will enable researchers and the general public to access a diverse collection of historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National Archives via Google Video as well as the National Archives website." Be Spacific 2/24/06

Posted by P. Kaufman at 4:25 PM

Library Leaders Press Colleges to Archive Online Journals to Avoid Loss of Data

Some library leaders are urging colleges and academic libraries to take action to preserve online scholarly journals, saying they could vanish into oblivion should publishers go out of business or face other calamities. A group of librarians, college administrators, and scholars issued a public call to action on the issue in October, in a statement edited by Donald J. Waters, an official specializing in scholarly communications at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Association of College and Research Libraries endorsed the message this month. "Since most libraries do not actually own and store the content of the journals they license in electronic form, new models for preservation must be developed," association officials said in a statement. "Scholars may face serious loss of access to published research if libraries do not adopt effective electronic-journal-preservation strategies." (from DigLib) Unlike print journals, which libraries own and can keep forever, electronic journals are provided to libraries under a kind of lease. Libraries pay for the privilege of having access to the journals online. But many libraries fear they will not be able to retrieve back issues should that access abruptly end -- if, for example, a publisher goes bankrupt. This is of special concern now that libraries are increasingly relying on electronic journals. The association says it supports allowing libraries to operate their own electronic archives or to form a collective with other libraries to preserve electronic journals. The archive would be made available to scholars only when the publisher could no longer provide access to the journals, or if the materials were no longer protected by copyright. Chronicle of Higher Education 2/24/06 (Note, I was part of the group that issued the call to action.)

Posted by P. Kaufman at 7:14 AM

Digital Magazine Service Launches

Exact Editions has launched its digital magazine service. The first four magazines available include The Spectator, The Scientist, London Review of Books, and Literary Review. Trial issues of all the magazines in the Exact Editions service are available for inspection, browsing, searching and free reading from the site. Daryl Rayner, Managing Director, says "One of the keys to our service is the rapid searchability of the content within single issues, across many issues and across different magazines. This powerful searching of special interest content brings out the enormous value in the back issues of magazines once they have been uploaded to the web." The pages of these digital magazines in the Exact Editions platform are faithfully exact replicas of the print magazine. Peter Scott’s Library Blog 2/24/06

Posted by P. Kaufman at 7:04 AM

February 21, 2006

Globe Goes Digital

As the pace of modernization accelerates around the globe, so too has computer usage and access to the internet. The latest Pew Global Attitudes poll found substantially more people using a computer and going online now than in 2002. And it is not just the young who are increasing their use of technology; in many countries computer use has accelerated most rapidly among people over 50. In each of the 13 countries for which historical comparisons can be made, more people now use computers at home, school or work than in 2002. The rise is dramatic in Turkey, Russia, India and Poland, where the number of those who say they use a computer at least occasionally has risen by 13 percent to 16 percent in the three years between surveys. Great Britain has seen the largest increase in computer use, up 17 percent since 2002. More modest gains have been made in the U.S. and the rest of Western Europe, where majorities already reported using computers in 2002 although even in these countries the use of such technology has increased significantly. Internet use is also on the rise in both industrialized societies and developing countries, with the greatest increases among the British, Poles and French. However, there is a stark divide between those countries with high rates of internet use and those with less access to this technology. Read the full report: Pew Research 2/21/06

Posted by P. Kaufman at 3:08 PM

February 15, 2006

Piracy Losses Put at $606 Million

As part of its annual report to the U.S. Trade Representative, the International Intellectual Property Alliance estimated that illegal copying of books abroad cost the book industry about $606 million in 2005, roughly the same level as 2004. Losses for all copyrighted intellectual property to piracy topped $15.8 billion last year, the IIPA estimated. AAP president Pat Schroeder said that while progress has been made in fighting book piracy abroad, more work needs to be done. Asia continues to be a piracy hot spot, even though enforcement has improved in such places as Hong Kong and Taiwan, Schroeder said. "Even where enforcement is at least partially effective," Schroeder noted, "court delays remain, especially in countries such as India and the Philippines.Legal developments in Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and elsewhere continue to deny effective protection to book publishers, and enforcement mechanisms so effective for other industries in countries such as Pakistan have not yet been employed against book pirates." Schroeder further observed that market access barriers continue to make it difficult for publishers "to make genuine product available in relevant markets such as China." PW 2/14/06

Posted by P. Kaufman at 1:25 PM

February 10, 2006

A New Model for Peer Review?
Peer Reviewers Comments are Open for All to See in New Biology Journal

BioMed Central has launched Biology Direct, a new online open access journal with a novel system of peer review. The journal will operate completely open peer review, with named peer reviewers' reports published alongside each article. The autho's rebuttals to the reviewers comments are also published. The journal also takes the innovative step of requiring that the author approach Biology Direct Editorial Board members directly to obtain their agreement to review the manuscript or to nominate alternative reviewers. [Largely taken from a BioMed Central press report.]

Biology Direct launches with publications in the fields of Systems Biology, Computational Biology, and Evolutionary Biology, with an Immunology section to follow soon. The journal considers original research articles, hypotheses, and reviews and will eventually cover the full spectrum of biology.

Biology Direct is led by Editors-in-Chief David J Lipman, Director of the National Center Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at NIH, USA; Eugene V Koonin, Senior Investigator at NCBI; and Laura Landweber, Associate Professor at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.

For more information about the journal or about how to submit a manuscript to the journal, visit the Biology Direct website.

Posted by Katie Newman at 3:33 PM

Copy Cat Copy Case

Custom Copies, a photocopy shop based in Gainesville, Fla., finds itself in an unusual situation, facing a high-profile lawsuit for alleged copyright infringement, after settling one just three years ago. The independent shop’s locations serve hundreds of University of Florida students and faculty members each year — and the case appears to be a new attempt by publishers to send a message to professors and students that copyright is not to be ignored. Details of the initial settlement remain secret, but the new lawsuit, filed in federal court on Wednesday, has six publishers charging that the shop unlawfully photocopied and sold several copyrighted documents many times over without getting permission. The publishers say that the shop, which also did business as Orange and Blue Textbooks, failed multiple times to obtain copyright permission from either the publishers directly or through Copyright Clearance Center. The publishers include Blackwell Publishing, Elsevier, Inc., Pearson Education, Inc., Harvard Business School Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and SAGE Publications, Inc. Inside Higher education 2/10/06

Posted by P. Kaufman at 1:22 PM

February 9, 2006

Significance of Library Ditigitization Project Described by Univ. President

John Batelle has posted the text of University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman's keynote address at the Association of American Publishers Conference, February 6. She defended her university's participation in the Google Library Project as well as the overall value and importance of library digitization programs in general. Be Spacific 2/8/06 e_address.pdf

Posted by P. Kaufman at 1:54 PM

February 7, 2006

Publisher Launches Ad-Supported Online Text

HarperCollins has announced a new program that will make book content available free online, supported by advertiser links that share the page with the text. Officials from the publisher said the Harper program will focus on nonfiction and reference books, noting that advertisers are likely not as interested in paying to support literary fiction. The first book offered in the program, "Go It Alone! The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own" by Bruce Judson,
was published in 2004 and later released in paperback. One test of the program will be whether ad sales offset lost sales, according to Murray, group president of HarperCollins. Despite the ongoing squabbles over online access to books, supporters of the idea still believe it has potential. Author M.J. Rose said that no one wants to read an entire book online but that if they have easy access to a text on the Web and they like it, they will be encouraged to buy a copy.
Associated Press, 6 February 2006 Edupage, February 06, 2006

Posted by P. Kaufman at 1:47 PM

February 3, 2006

Libraries Fear Digital Lockdown

Libraries have warned that the rise of digital publishing may make it harder or even impossible to access items in their collections in the future. Many publishers put restrictions on how digital books and journals can be used. Such digital rights management (DRM) controls may block some legitimate uses, the British Library has said. And there are fears that restricted works may not be safe for future generations if people can no longer unlock them when technology evolves. The British Library spends £2m of its £16m annual acquisitions budget on digital material, mainly reference books and journals. But by 2020, 90% of newly published work will be available digitally - twice the amount that is printed - according to British Library predictions published last year. Libraries are allowed to give access to, copy and distribute items through "fair dealing" and "library privilege" clauses in copyright law. But as publishers attempt to stop the public illegally sharing books and articles, the DRM they employ may not cater for libraries' legal uses. "We have genuinely tried to maintain that balance between the public interest and respecting rights holders," Dr Clive Field, the British Library's director of scholarships and collections told the BBC News website. "We are genuinely concerned that technology inadvertently may be disturbing that balance, and that would be unhelpful ultimately to the national interest." BBC News 2/3/06

Posted by P. Kaufman at 10:41 AM

February 2, 2006

Copyright Office Issues Report on 'Orphan' Works

The U.S. Copyright Office proposed a solution late Tuesday to the vexing problem of "orphan" works -- older materials that people are reluctant to republish because they cannot track down the copyright owners. But the office's recommendation, backed by publishers, is unlikely to please archivists or scholars. In a 133-page report, the office said that people who republish orphan works should pay "reasonable compensation" if the owners of the material surface and demand payment for the use of their materials. The copyright office said its recommendation could be accomplished by amending the Copyright Act. But recognizing that many orphan works are republished online, the proposal also said that if "nonprofit institutions like libraries, museums, and universities" immediately stop using orphan works when contacted by copyright owners, the institutions should not have to pay anything for the copyright infringements. The copyright office also recommended that would-be publishers of orphan works first conduct a "reasonably diligent search" to locate the owners of the works. Librarians, scholars, and museum directors frequently seek to republish orphan works for archival, research, and preservation purposes. They told copyright-office representatives at hearings last summer that nonprofit educational and cultural institutions should not be required to pay anything if copyright owners subsequently come forward, or should pay no more than a set amount -- typically between $100 and $500 -- per work infringed. Chronicle of Higher Education 2/2/06 Read the Report and background information.

Posted by P. Kaufman at 7:06 AM

Publishers Challenge Online 'Kleptomania'

A task force of industry publishing associations will seek compensation for the use of their content by Google and other search engines. They will also seek meetings with regulators and lawmakers, including officials at the European Commission. The Independent Full story Via

Posted by P. Kaufman at 7:05 AM